Book Review: Need by Joelle Charbonneau

needBook Review: Need by Joelle Charbonneau

We all want something. But what do you really need? Kaylee knows that her brother has to have a transplant. She’s heard about this online site granting needs, but she isn’t sure if they will be able to help in time. As more and more teens join the site, the stakes become much higher, as does the danger.

I’ll have to say that I picked this up only because I loved the other series by this author. I was not disappointed. Not only is the plot unique and riveting, but the characters are interesting. You won’t always like them, but I guess because I work with teens, I understood them.

Quotes

None

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Mystery
Overall Opinion:   Recommend
Source: eBook from NetGalley

Book Review: Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala

unicornsBook Review: Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala

After the death of her mother, Talia goes to stay with a friend of the family while her father goes out to study whales. Through new friends and new adversity she learns about herself and comes to understand what love really means.

Soooo. I LOVED this book. With all caps people. There are a few sections that bored me…but I’m sure someone will geek out on that part (I skipped-sorry), but I loved the message in this book about loving and loss.

Quotes-there are a ton, and only because I made myself stop. Here are my favorite ones:

On leaving: “And when I finally turned back around in my seat it felt like we were going in reverse because I’d been watching the road move away from us for so long. That’s what leaving is like. Watching things slip away from you until your insides ache and everything feels backwards.”

On feeling whole: “Dad needed those whales-he needed them like I needed Mom’s stories, because sometimes you just need something bigger than yourself to feel whole.”

On believing: “Everyone has to believe in something Talia,” she said. “And sometimes, instead of giving up hope, we tell stories that make the impossible possible.”

On regretting a kiss: “But it was too late to take it back. Turns out that kissing is sort of like talking. You can’t un-kiss anyone any more than you can un-say something.”

On love: “Loving someone means that sometimes you have to risk getting messy. It’s not always fun, but it’s always better than being alone, or watching someone you love hurt alone.”

Recommended Grades: 5-8
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Highly Recommended
Source: Book

Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

brightBook Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin

Theodore first meets Violet on the top of the bell tower, where they are both stuck in the considerations of suicide and life. Now these two are partnered together on a history project that has them learning about more than just local tourist attractions. Both of these dynamic characters have complicated pasts that instantly draw you into their stories. Tough topics are treated with honesty, and not every solution is simple.

This book was recommended to me by several students. It does have some strong language, but it was a beautifully written story. I couldn’t put it down, and what better recommendation is there than that? Now I want to start mapping out cool stuff to see in my area. Can’t wait to see more from this author!

Quote

There is a beautiful passage in the end, but gives away too much. My second favorite one is this:

Do I feel I should be punished? Yes. Why else would I have given myself bangs?

Recommended Grades: 9 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction with a side of Kleenex (seriously…you’ll need some)
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Audiobook

Book Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall DownBook Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

As Grace comes to terms with the death of her mother, she goes to live with her grandfather who is the ambassador to Adria. Grace has been continually told her mother’s death was an accident, but when she sees the man who murdered her, she knows that she didn’t imagine anything. The only problem is that no one with believe her, because this isn’t the first time Grace has recognized her mother’s killer. Together with other embassy kids, Grace will tackle the hard questions.

I couldn’t wait to read this book after listening to the author speak at a panel. I first thought it would be so fascinating to actually be staying on an embassy row and getting to experience all those cultures, but some of the rules and expectations never occurred to me. This book is action packed like most of Ally Carter’s other books but still full of emotional pull. Ready for book two now…already read the little novella on Amazon. It was good too. The audio for the series isn’t bad, but sometimes I felt like one of the character’s accents was off. All the rest were amazing though, so that was only a minor issue.

Quotes

I stay quiet because I don’t want to break down, and I learned a long time ago that sometimes, the only way to silence the cries is by making no sound at all, so I shrug and bite my lip.

It’s like looking at Clark Kent, and getting a glimpse of superman. I’m almost sure she sees through me.

Recommended Grades: 7 and up
Genre: Mystery or Action Adventure
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Audiobook

Book Review: Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

Trouble is a Friend of MineBook Review: Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

Digby won’t take no for an answer , and that means big trouble for Zoe and Henry, because Digby’s plans usually involve breaking the law! All three friends have issues of their own, but as their relationships develop, the layers of each character are peeled back revealing a deeper story. As they investigate a local missing girl, plans go from complicated to dangerous very quickly.

How could you not want to read a book that claims it is “Sherlock meets Veronica Mars meets Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”? Surprisingly enough, it really was all those things. This novel is quick moving and has some hilarious characters. I expected it to be a stand-alone novel, but it certainly left you wanting to know more. Back stories of characters were hinted at, but I know there is more to come.

Quote

None that stuck out as individual quotes, but lots of great scenes

Recommended Grades: 8 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Average
Source: ebook from Netgalley

Book Review: Never Ending by Martyn Bedford

never endingBook Review: Never Ending by Martyn Bedford

When traditional therapy fails, the Korsakoff Clinic may be Shiv’s last option for stopping her destructive behavior and help her deal with the death of her brother. The therapy is intense, but Shiv knows that something has to change. New relationships both help and complicate the process, and Shiv is no longer sure what is the truth and what she imagined. This novel alternates between flashbacks and current therapy.

This novel is an emotional ride. The emotions are real and you can’t help but feel for Shiv and the others trying to move past such horrible tragedies. The novel is well written and the characters believable. Rated for 7-12, but some may not know the Salinger references without a little explanation.

Quote

I had one, but I did thought I did this review already so I deleted it. Sorry!

Recommended Grades: 7 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Average
Source: Book

Book Review: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

goodbye strangerBook Review: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

This story alternates between past events that slowly lead up to Valentine’s Day. The main focus is on three best friends and the interactions they make at school. Has some wonderful frenemy qualities and some deep lessons on forgiveness. Some of the story is told through letters that Sherm (one of the girl’s friends) writes to his grandfather.

An interesting switch between perspectives of the characters, and first to third person narrative. I was worried when I started because I just finished a book in first person and the format really bothered me. I think because this switches back and forth it wasn’t so uncomfortable. Contains some great discussion points on consequences for texting photos and point of view

Quotes: Nothing that stood out without giving too much away.

Recommended Grades: 7 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Above Average
Source: eBook from Netgalley